for immediate release
April 3, 2003

N E W S   R E L E A S E

Two teenagers are seriously injured after a high-speed motorcycle crash in Destin early this morning (Thursday morning). The driver, Matthew Betsayad, age 19 (10-17-1983), of 1503 Glenlake Circle, Niceville, is in Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast in south Walton County. The passenger, Joseph E. Benac, age 17 (3-31-1986), of New Palestine, Indiana, is in Baptist Hospital in Pensacola. Benac, a Spring Break visitor to the area, was airlifted to the hospital and is in critical condition.

Betsayad's 1999 Kawasaki motorcycle, westbound on Emerald Coast Parkway, ran off the edge of the roadway on a curve at Two Trees Road. The motorcycle went airborne and struck a utility pole guy wire approximately five feet above the ground, near Landry's Seafood House. Witnesses reported the crash at 12:24 this morning (Thursday morning).

Only the passenger was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The incident remains under investigation; alcohol is considered a contributing factor. Charges are pending.

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for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer

(850) 651-7420

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